Statement from CEO Tony Copsey.
After the statement released by Esher last night I felt it important that I clarify the full facts behind our request to the RFU Championship Organising Committee on the interpretation of Championship Regulation 3.1(a). I have provided the regulation in full below so the full wording can be seen.
We sought clarification after our match versus Plymouth from Chris Burns (Championship Competitions Manager) over the interpretation of regulation 3.1(a). We felt that if results went a certain way then a tie break situation may arise between Esher and London Scottish after the last match of the season. When checking the regulation we also felt it was unclear especially the opening line of the regulation which states:
“In the case of equality of competition points at any stage of the Season, positions at that stage of the season shall be determined firstly by the number of wins achieved and then on the basis of match points differential.
London Scottish were seeking clarification if number of wins was in relation to the whole season i.e. both stages 1 and 2 rather than just the play offs i.e. stage 2.
Unfortunately this matter was not dealt with immediately and again we requested urgent clarification before our match versus Moseley. This was key as it may have affected the approach to the match – especially in a situation where in the last 10 minutes the team may decide whether to push for a win or retain a bonus point.
Jonathan Dance (Chairman of Championship Committee) then contacted the club to apologise for the delay in dealing with the matter; agreed that the wording was not clear and could be interpreted differently i.e. numbers of wins over the season OR number of wins in just the play offs. He gave his opinion which he felt the regulation should be interpreted as number of wins only in the play offs but also advised we needed full clarity from the RFU on the matter.
We then contacted Rob Andrew (RFU Professional Rugby Director) to seek firm clarification and requested that this had to done before our match versus Esher to ensure complete clarity. We were able to make representation of our interpretation and as we know the Organising Committee, comprising: Peter Baines (Chairman of the RFU Governance Standing Committee), Rob Andrew (RFU Professional Rugby Director) and Chris Burns (Competitions Manager) met on Wednesday and considered our request. The OC concluded that when determining any position in Stage 2 of the RFU Championship, in the event of equality of competition points, only the number of wins in Stage 2 should be taken into account rather than wins achieved in both Stages 1 and 2 of the RFU Championship competition.
London Scottish fully accepts this ruling and is pleased that the clarity we have been seeking for some time has finally been made.
We also feel strongly that given the circumstances and the huge repercussions that relegation has on a club it was absolutely crucial, right and proper that the club ensured this clarification was made.
London Scottish feel the matter is now clarified and closed. We as always look forward to welcoming our close neighbours Esher today at the Athletic Ground in our traditional hospitable way.
Regulation 3.1(a) in full:
“In the case of equality of competition points at any stage of the Season, positions at that stage of the season shall be determined firstly by the number of wins achieved and then on the basis of match points differential. A Club with a larger number of wins shall be placed higher than a Club with the same number of league points but fewer wins. If Clubs have equal competition points and equal number of wins then a Club with a larger difference between match points “for” and match points “against” shall be placed higher in the Championship than a Club with a smaller difference between match points “for” and match points “against”. Should two Clubs have the same number of competition points and the same match points difference, the Club having scored more match points “for” shall be placed higher in the Championship than the Club having the lesser number of match points “for”. If the above does not establish different Championship positions then the Club in the higher position shall be the Club that has achieved the higher aggregate match points scored by it in the same season against the other Club. If this still does not establish the position then the Club who has won the most matches, excluding its first Championship match of each stage, then its second Championship match of the stage and so on, until it can be established which is the higher placed Club.”